Algerian players withdraw from game due to Israeli coach on opposing team

Three Algerian players withdraw from game, citing presence of Israeli soccer legend coaching the opposing team.

By World Israel News Staff

Three Algerian soccer players refused to play in a high-profile match in Qatar on Friday because the opposing team’s coach was Israeli.

The presence of Avram Grant, a Petach Tikvah-born soccer legend whose storied career has seen him manage the Chelsea Football Club and Ghana’s national team, was apparently too much for the Algerian players to bear.

Rabah Madjer, Rafik Saïfi and Rafik Halliche announced they would not play in a friendly match ahead of the FIFA Arab Cup final, because Grant was coaching the opposing team.

The Algerian players were on the roster of the FIFA Arab Legends team and Grant was coaching the FIFA World Legends team.

FIFA did not comment on the boycott.

In November 2021, the Scottish Football Association (SFA) was slapped with a fine from world soccer organization FIFA for boorish behavior from its fans during a game against team Israel.

The FIFA report specifically mentioned fans booing and jeering while HaTikvah, the Israeli national anthem, was played before the game, and a Palestinian flag waved by fans during the match as violations of its good conduct policy for spectators.

During the game, Scottish supporters also threw objects onto the pitch, including food.

Arab-Israeli player Muanas Dabbur was struck by a piece of pie, which was hurled at him by a Scottish fan after he scored Israel’s second goal of the match.

In one of the more comical moments of the game, the unruffled Dabbur simply picked the pieces of pie off his shorts and began eating them.

In August 2021, Algerian judoka Fethi Nourine withdrew from the Olympics rather than face an Israeli opponent.

“We worked a lot to reach the Olympics… but the Palestinian cause is bigger than all of this,” Nourine told Algerian media.

“We were not lucky with the draw. We got an Israeli opponent and that’s why we had to retire. We made the right decision,” Amar Ben Yaklif, Nourine’s coach, said at the time.

Nourine subsequently received a 10 year ban from competing in international judo competitions for the stunt.